Steps towards Treaty: the Uluru Statement and Referendum Council Report

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Alright.

We've had the Referendum into the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, and the public rejected it.

From the notes to the Referendum Committee:
The Dialogues discussed who would be the parties to Treaty, as well as the process, content and enforcement questions that pursuing Treaty raises. In relation to process, these questions included whether a Treaty should be negotiated first as a national framework agreement under which regional and local treaties are made. In relation to content, the Dialogues discussed that a Treaty could include a proper say in decision-making, the establishment of a truth commission, reparations, a financial settlement (such as seeking a percentage of GDP), the resolution of land, water and resources issues, recognition of authority and customary law, and guarantees of respect for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Would you be okay with any or all of the above? What do you think would be a reasonable means of reparations, or do you think reparations are not required at all?

Try and keep it civil from here. The last few pages have been as base as anywhere else on this forum.
 
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Conservatism in a nutshell.
Self interest, not political conservatism at all.

Revisit this post:
... and get back to me.
Sure, but I'll need you to provide a bit more detail about exactly what these changes you want to make to fix all these problems are. There was no detail in the answer you have about what the country looks like, hence my questions about justice.
Does it matter beyond 'these things are still happening and they're clearly wrong'?
Of course it does. If you want to make a wholesale tear-the-place-down reset, we need to know what checkpoint we are reloading from (to make a gaming analogy). But again, I'll need a description of what you're actually advocating for.
I also don't really accept your attempt to shift the goalposts - you disputed whether there were still vestiges of colonialism around, and when demonstrated to you those goalposts started to get real busy - either. There are parts of our society that are directly linkable to our colonial past and those parts result in the enrichment of particular people over others; we can seek to correct this, or we can continue to use those structures for the purposes of protecting/enriching ourselves.
I don't know where the goalposts are to shift! Look forward to hearing your placement of them.
 
Self interest, not political conservatism at all.
If one were to make a venn diagram of both, it'd be a single circle.
Sure, but I'll need you to provide a bit more detail about exactly what these changes you want to make to fix all these problems are. There was no detail in the answer you have about what the country looks like, hence my questions about justice.
Again.

You said this, referring to colonialism:
It's not a process if it's complete.
... to which I gave a series of questions designed to demonstrate that colonialism continues. You've then proceeded past your 'yes' answer to the next question, in order to move past a concession you don't particularly want to make.

*I'd like to see you say it, before we go any further. It'll mean you can't affect the pretense again that colonialism is done and dusted in Australia the next time it comes up.
Of course it does. If you want to make a wholesale tear-the-place-down reset, we need to know what checkpoint we are reloading from (to make a gaming analogy).
I don't recall saying 'Let's tear down the entirety of the Australian state aparatus and start from scratch'.

Why is the worst case scenario the default point for change from the status quo?
I don't know where the goalposts are to shift! Look forward to hearing your placement of them.
See above, beside *.
 
If one were to make a venn diagram of both, it'd be a single circle.
If you don't ever consider impact of policy change on yourself, you're a modern reincarnation of Jesus. We are truly blessed.
... to which I gave a series of questions designed to demonstrate that colonialism continues. You've then proceeded past your 'yes' answer to the next question, in order to move past a concession you don't particularly want to make.
Perhaps I've not interpreted what you mean by colonialism continuing the same way you meant it. I took it to mean we engage in new efforts to take land and expand. This is not the case, and why I said it's not a process - it's done. We now live in a society born of the consequences of Colonial endeavour and therefore obviously continue to reap the benefits of that economically (hence I said you can argue we continue economic neo-colonialism).
 

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If you don't ever consider impact of policy change on yourself, you're a modern reincarnation of Jesus. We are truly blessed.
Perhaps I've not interpreted what you mean by colonialism continuing the same way you meant it. I took it to mean we engage in new efforts to take land and expand. This is not the case, and why I said it's not a process - it's done. We now live in a society born of the consequences of Colonial endeavour and therefore obviously continue to reap the benefits of that economically (hence I said you can argue we continue economic neo-colonialism).
I feel like we're falling into the default positions for both our perspectives - I point out that something's wrong; you jump past agreement to instead ask for a solution so you can decry or deride any suggested ones and defend the status quo, ignoring the fact that we agree that something is wrong - and it's not going to get us very far to continue arguing the point as it's a rather repetitive exercise.

I know we're both familiar with the dance, but just because we know the steps doesn't entail we need to tread them out.
 
I feel like we're falling into the default positions for both our perspectives - I point out that something's wrong; you jump past agreement to instead ask for a solution so you can decry or deride any suggested ones and defend the status quo, ignoring the fact that we agree that something is wrong - and it's not going to get us very far to continue arguing the point as it's a rather repetitive exercise.

I know we're both familiar with the dance, but just because we know the steps doesn't entail we need to tread them out.
I'm not intending to derail the conversation or make it murky and fruitless. Apologies if it's coming across that way. I think I'm jumping ahead because in my mind, I don't see the why or how aspects of the problems you are talking about. Or even whether they are problems we need to fix, to be honest. That may be partly a product of my own background.

To try to get it back on track, how about going back to the problem itself? Regarding our country and its colonial past, my issue is that it is in the past, i.e. something we can't take back or reverse. We can't un-colonise the land and reset it to pre-1780. I acknowledge everything we have set up here is a product of the imperialism and racist attitudes prevalent in those times, and we continue to benefit from them now. I also recognise that I, and in fact a huge proportion of us, had nothing to do with it and are here through accident of birth of which we had no choice.

So bearing that in mind, when someone suggests we have a responsibility to rectify something to do with the actions of people more than two centuries prior, my immediate response is to question why that's the case, and further, to what end we need to change things.

So I'm more than happy to hear your thoughts on that if you want. I'm sure we both have the same perspective regarding the past, but I don't know what we'd agree on about the future.
 
I'm not intending to derail the conversation or make it murky and fruitless. Apologies if it's coming across that way. I think I'm jumping ahead because in my mind, I don't see the why or how aspects of the problems you are talking about. Or even whether they are problems we need to fix, to be honest. That may be partly a product of my own background.
It's not so much that I feel it fruitless. I've found myself stepping these exact moves with other posters before, and from time to time it just weighs on me just how much time I've spent having the precise same argument.
To try to get it back on track, how about going back to the problem itself? Regarding our country and its colonial past, my issue is that it is in the past, i.e. something we can't take back or reverse. We can't un-colonise the land and reset it to pre-1780. I acknowledge everything we have set up here is a product of the imperialism and racist attitudes prevalent in those times, and we continue to benefit from them now. I also recognise that I, and in fact a huge proportion of us, had nothing to do with it and are here through accident of birth of which we had no choice.

So bearing that in mind, when someone suggests we have a responsibility to rectify something to do with the actions of people more than two centuries prior, my immediate response is to question why that's the case, and further, to what end we need to change things.
I can get behind that somewhat.

The problems that need to be addressed are thus:
  • the continued dispossession and disenfranchisement of people of first nations background by businesses and individuals (mainly the businesses) as demonstrated by the destruction of native artwork and sites by mining companies in WA. I actually know an archeologist whose job it was to greenlight digs for mining companies, and he tells me that for every one that was reported there were at least two that go unreported; they used to shuffle him round, requiring a person onsite to meat compliance measures. The problem here is twofold: one, that mining companies can compulsorily acquire land legally, not paying the original owners; two, that cultural artefacts are destroyed in the interests of capital.
  • the continued forced removal of children from first nation's families by the Australian state, without placing them within a first nation's context. This is just something that shouldn't happen, and yet it continues.
  • the refusal of property and landright holders to acknowledge that sovereignty was not ceded by the first nations upon whose land their property is. What that looks like as far from how the problem is solved is tricky; can the government pay restitution? Do individuals pay some of the financial price, knowing that no small percentage of society came here without a choice in the case of convicts and the majority of Australia were either born overseas or their parents were?
  • the inability or unwillingness of business to countenence how much treaty would cost them. It might be the rampant leftie in me, but the largest impediment to treaty isn't government at all; it's a point blank unwillingness for business, who would be the ones who lose money because it is from their profits that the consequences of treaty would be paid. For some nations, it could be small - the cost of a community centre/museum to share their cultural history - but for others it might be signifciantly higher; an iron mine might have to pay royalties. But it needs to be done - even as a last step - if we are going to put paid, finally, for the colonisation of this country.
 
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It's not so much that I feel it fruitless. I've found myself stepping these exact moves with other posters before, and from time to time it just weighs on me just how much time I've spent having the precise same argument.

I can get behind that somewhat.

The problems that need to be addressed are thus:
  • the continued dispossession and disenfranchisement of people of first nations background by businesses and individuals (mainly the businesses) as demonstrated by the destruction of native artwork and sites by mining companies in WA. I actually know an archeologist whose job it was to greenlight digs for mining companies, and he tells me that for every one that was reported there were at least two that go unreported; they used to shuffle him round, requiring a person onsite to meat compliance measures. The problem here is twofold: one, that mining companies can compulsorily acquire land legally, not paying the original owners; two, that cultural artefacts are destroyed in the interests of capital.
  • the continued forced removal of children from first nation's families by the Australian state, without placing them within a first nation's context. This is just something that shouldn't happen, and yet it continues.
  • the refusal of property and landright holders to acknowledge that sovereignty was not ceded by the first nations upon whose land their property is. What that looks like as far from how the problem is solved is tricky; can the government pay restitution? Do individuals pay some of the financial price, knowing that no small percentage of society came here without a choice in the case of convicts and the majority of Australia were either born overseas or their parents were?
  • the inability or unwillingness of business to countenence how much treaty would cost them. It might be the rampant leftie in me, but the largest impediment to treaty isn't government at all; it's a point blank unwillingness for business, who would be the ones who lose money because it is from their profits that the consequences of treaty would be paid. For some nations, it could be small - the cost of a community centre/museum to share their cultural history - but for others it might be signifciantly higher; an iron mine might have to pay royalties. But it needs to be done - even as a last step - if we are going to put paid, finally, for the colonisation of this country.

If only there was some kind of representative body, that would draw together input from the various Aboriginal peoples around the country and make representations to Parliament on behalf of Aboriginal people, about what measures might be most beneficial in improving the lives on Aboriginal people.
 
If only there was some kind of representative body, that would draw together input from the various Aboriginal peoples around the country and make representations to Parliament on behalf of Aboriginal people, about what measures might be most beneficial in improving the lives on Aboriginal people.
But we were told that wouldn’t be all about making us pay reparations
 
But we were told that wouldn’t be all about making us pay reparations
Don't make me reopen the referendum thread.

Judging No Way GIF by Cameo
 
the continued dispossession and disenfranchisement of people of first nations background by businesses and individuals (mainly the businesses) as demonstrated by the destruction of native artwork and sites by mining companies in WA. I actually know an archeologist whose job it was to greenlight digs for mining companies, and he tells me that for every one that was reported there were at least two that go unreported; they used to shuffle him round, requiring a person onsite to meat compliance measures. The problem here is twofold: one, that mining companies can compulsorily acquire land legally, not paying the original owners; two, that cultural artefacts are destroyed in the interests of capital.
Fully behind you on this. We should be actively trying to preserve the cultures of indigenous people and the cultural artefacts that we still have. I'm quite sure the big mining companies could spare some of their bottom line to ensure those sites are preserved somehow.
I'm not so sure about the legalities of who owns the land though. I really don't know enough about that to my own embarrassment. Should know better.
the continued forced removal of children from first nation's families by the Australian state, without placing them within a first nation's context. This is just something that shouldn't happen, and yet it continues.
I will have to look this up further, because I'm not aware of any policies associated with the stolen generation that would still be in place today. Is it a case of children being removed for welfare purposes and there just not being enough able and willing indeginous relatives to take them on? Feel free to post links to info if you have them handy.
  • the refusal of property and landright holders to acknowledge that sovereignty was not ceded by the first nations upon whose land their property is. What that looks like as far from how the problem is solved is tricky; can the government pay restitution? Do individuals pay some of the financial price, knowing that no small percentage of society came here without a choice in the case of convicts and the majority of Australia were either born overseas or their parents were?
  • the inability or unwillingness of business to countenence how much treaty would cost them. It might be the rampant leftie in me, but the largest impediment to treaty isn't government at all; it's a point blank unwillingness for business, who would be the ones who lose money because it is from their profits that the consequences of treaty would be paid. For some nations, it could be small - the cost of a community centre/museum to share their cultural history - but for others it might be signifciantly higher; an iron mine might have to pay royalties. But it needs to be done - even as a last step - if we are going to put paid, finally, for the colonisation of this country.
I agree that there should be a treaty signed, 100%. However, regarding monetary compensation, this is the one that many will have some pushback on, myself included.

Any form of blanket tax that will then redistribute money to individuals because of their ethnic heritage is not something I will generally support. So IMO that should be off the table immediately. However, if we're talking about a specific way to generate funds that are used for services or systems that help indigenous communities, then I'm all ears.

I know that costs from taxes against businesses etc are all essentially passed on to the consumer at the end of the day, but it doesn't jibe with my ethical beliefs to directly take from one person and give to another for reparations. I don't believe in punishing people for the sins of the fathers, so to speak, and that going down that path would actually inflame the situation further.

The cynic in me also wonders just how much the non-indigenous desire for reparations to be paid is a product of those people trying to assuage their sense of guilt more than anything. Money can't fix generations of being put behind the eight-ball. In fact I'd argue that for many of the target group, that money could end up doing anything from very little to actually causing harm. It's sad to say that, but I'm being realistic.
 
I will have to look this up further, because I'm not aware of any policies associated with the stolen generation that would still be in place today. Is it a case of children being removed for welfare purposes and there just not being enough able and willing indeginous relatives to take them on? Feel free to post links to info if you have them handy.
This.

Part of the problem is that approaches to indigenous solutions rarely involve indigenous people, and so the cycle of distrust continues. The entire NT intervention by Howard was done under the pretext of removing children from first nations communities to protect them; if you reserve the right to be cynical elsewhere, I reserve the right to do it here.
I agree that there should be a treaty signed, 100%. However, regarding monetary compensation, this is the one that many will have some pushback on, myself included.

Any form of blanket tax that will then redistribute money to individuals because of their ethnic heritage is not something I will generally support. So IMO that should be off the table immediately. However, if we're talking about a specific way to generate funds that are used for services or systems that help indigenous communities, then I'm all ears.

I know that costs from taxes against businesses etc are all essentially passed on to the consumer at the end of the day, but it doesn't jibe with my ethical beliefs to directly take from one person and give to another for reparations. I don't believe in punishing people for the sins of the fathers, so to speak, and that going down that path would actually inflame the situation further.

The cynic in me also wonders just how much the non-indigenous desire for reparations to be paid is a product of those people trying to assuage their sense of guilt more than anything. Money can't fix generations of being put behind the eight-ball. In fact I'd argue that for many of the target group, that money could end up doing anything from very little to actually causing harm. It's sad to say that, but I'm being realistic.
Here's my problem.

There are over 200 different first nations in Australia. Some of them number in the 100's; some of them only have a few members still living. Any negotiation either has to work on a per capita basis - nation to nation - or to get the collective to agree on something together and sign the treaty that way.

So when I say that the process is already ****ing difficult to undertake for a first nations population that already has minimal reason to trust the government, I think you understand what I'm getting at to note that taking anything off the table completely renders this a bit of a foregone conclusion: too hard.

Where you come at the situation as refusing to pay for the sins of the father, I view refusing to pay for the advantages obtained unjustly as an expiation of moral burden. I live here pretty well; got a degree and everything. There's an awful lot of people who would have me celebrate Australia and call the place the greatest country in the world, but their pockets are somehow terribly empty when it comes to time to pay taxes or to pay their due.

I also have my own opinions on things like the government distributing money borne from time on the Newstart to allow government (especially one which could change mid rollout and pivot from a needs based array or government businesses to a quasi-private government enterprise ran by Andrew ****ing Forrest based on the whims of a fickle electorate) too much say in how said reparations are used. Suffice to say, it needs to be placed in first nations control; whether it's used or misused from there is their business, not mine.

I'm sure that any number of people would've deeply disapproved of how much alcohol I bought when unemployed, too.
 

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Hahah fair enough.

That aside, did you have any more thoughts on the ethics of reparations being paid by the people who didn’t do the thing?
I look at the situation this way: I'm from convict blood on one side, immigrant blood on the other. My ancestors didn't have all that much choice to come here.

Having said that, I've certainly profited that they did. I lived a lower middle class life in Melbourne; I was well fed (certainly, better than if my ancestors had stayed in Ireland and Germany during the world wars or famines); I was given free education when my parents elected to send me to the state school between years 4 and 6; I have a substantial HECS/HELP debt, in which the government has paid for my education; I've been on welfare for a portion of my life, on student payments and the Newstart.

I've profited from their disenfranchisement. It is my view that even if I owe nothing legally, I certainly owe something morally; even if I owe nothing morally, I owe them at the very ****ing least an equivalence of my existence here.

A first nations person is more likely to go to prison than I am. A first nations person will die before I do. A first nations person was less likely to go to uni than I am, less likely to finish school than I was, and less likely to remain healthy than I am.

In a first world country, ElectricG, how can that be?
 
Here's my problem.

There are over 200 different first nations in Australia. Some of them number in the 100's; some of them only have a few members still living. Any negotiation either has to work on a per capita basis - nation to nation - or to get the collective to agree on something together and sign the treaty that way.

So when I say that the process is already ******* difficult to undertake for a first nations population that already has minimal reason to trust the government, I think you understand what I'm getting at to note that taking anything off the table completely renders this a bit of a foregone conclusion: too hard.
Yes, it's going to be extremely difficult. I think a per-capita representation is probably a good way to do it. I'm pretty optimistic that they would work together towards a common understanding and goals.
Where you come at the situation as refusing to pay for the sins of the father, I view refusing to pay for the advantages obtained unjustly as an expiation of moral burden. I live here pretty well; got a degree and everything. There's an awful lot of people who would have me celebrate Australia and call the place the greatest country in the world, but their pockets are somehow terribly empty when it comes to time to pay taxes or to pay their due.

I also have my own opinions on things like the government distributing money borne from time on the Newstart to allow government (especially one which could change mid rollout and pivot from a needs based array or government businesses to a quasi-private government enterprise ran by Andrew ******* Forrest based on the whims of a fickle electorate) too much say in how said reparations are used. Suffice to say, it needs to be placed in first nations control; whether it's used or misused from there is their business, not mine.

I'm sure that any number of people would've deeply disapproved of how much alcohol I bought when unemployed, too.
I doubt we'll ever agree on this part.

There's no moral imperative for individual pay reparations for things they didn't do. If that's the moral standard, there's probably half the country who should receive reparations for past injustice against their ancestors. Hell, probably 90% of the country.

I know it's a flippant comment you made about the alcohol, but it's in bad taste. The problems that many indigenous people have are such that it wouldn't result in tut-tuts, but premature death. The idea is to help, not make things worse.
 
I've profited from their disenfranchisement. It is my view that even if I owe nothing legally, I certainly owe something morally; even if I owe nothing morally, I owe them at the very ******* least an equivalence of my existence here.
To piggyback off what I said in the other thread, this would also have been true of your own ancestors. It might seem like a spurious argument, but it really isn't - what makes our situation of benefitting from the plunder, theft and conquest so different to all the other plundering, stealing and conquering everyone's ancestors did that we need to individually pay for the crimes of the past?
 
A first nations person is more likely to go to prison than I am. A first nations person will die before I do. A first nations person was less likely to go to uni than I am, less likely to finish school than I was, and less likely to remain healthy than I am.

In a first world country, ElectricG, how can that be?
I have my own answers to all of those questions but I don’t think you’d like any of them.

I appreciate the honest and personal response. I still feel a bit in the dark about what your expectations actually are. What are you Gethy, in a tangible sense, obligated to give?
 
I know it's a flippant comment you made about the alcohol, but it's in bad taste. The problems that many indigenous people have are such that it wouldn't result in tut-tuts, but premature death. The idea is to help, not make things worse.
It's actually not. I was genuinely an alcoholic for around 3 years, Shan.
 
I have my own answers to all of those questions but I don’t think you’d like any of them.

I appreciate the honest and personal response. I still feel a bit in the dark about what your expectations actually are. What are you Gethy, in a tangible sense, obligated to give?
I'd be willing to pay substantially more tax, but as per what ShanDog says above I'd need to see how it looks from a governmental plan level first; a business case made, with first nations endorsement at large.

Get them to agree, and then I'm on board.
 
I'd be willing to pay substantially more tax, but as per what ShanDog says above I'd need to see how it looks from a governmental plan level first; a business case made, with first nations endorsement at large.

Get them to agree, and then I'm on board.
These reparations, are they in the form of funding indigenous … things (too tired to worry about sounding stupid here) or are we talking about actually giving money to individuals?
 
These reparations, are they in the form of funding indigenous … things (too tired to worry about sounding stupid here) or are we talking about actually giving money to individuals?
It'd depend on how treaty is formed. If it's nation by nation, it may very well come down in certain places to giving individuals/small family groups money; in others, it'd be in the form of either giving money to indigenous corporations or trusts or to something set up by government to serve a similar role.
 
It's actually not. I was genuinely an alcoholic for around 3 years, Shan.
I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. I assume because it was past tense that you've gotten on top of that. If so, well done 👍

I've no doubt that if we sent lump sums of cash to anyone indigenous, studies done in the decades after will see spikes in death rates among those who were worst off.
 
It'd depend on how treaty is formed. If it's nation by nation, it may very well come down in certain places to giving individuals/small family groups money; in others, it'd be in the form of either giving money to indigenous corporations or trusts or to something set up by government to serve a similar role.
I don't watch enough Sky News to know exactly how much money we as taxpayers already contribute to initiatives to help aboriginal people. But don't you think that if we could see the total amount already paid it would be some staggering figure to which you couldn't honestly say we should be paying a lot more?
 
I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. I assume because it was past tense that you've gotten on top of that. If so, well done 👍
Not as much as I'd like, but much better than I used to be.
I've no doubt that if we sent lump sums of cash to anyone indigenous, studies done in the decades after will see spikes in death rates among those who were worst off.
Alcoholism - at least for me - was born from a combination of boredom and desperation. I genuinely think people who've not been long term unemployed don't get just how unbelievably long the day is when there's nothing to do and you don't have any money. You can't go out; you run out of chores to do; you run out of things to watch, games to play, books to read and reread.

I don't have the trauma or the history of violence that some first nations people have, so I can't speak for them. But if you supply the essentials for life - food, shelter, culture - and provide care on their own terms - whether that's psychological in nature or therapeutic - I can almost guarantee that a number of the genuine alcoholics would attempt reform because it's shit. You spend half your time severely hungover, with what time you don't spend hungover you spend wishing you were drunk or drinking yourself through the hangover. You're sore, you're weak, and you're tired because you never sleep without getting drunk first. Your mouth tastes like shit when you wake up, and you smell.

I consider the situation the way I would Labor's insulation scheme: if we rush it out and don't take adequate precautions, it's on the government if anyone dies. We do it right, we negotiate and we surround people with adequate care and safeguards, we can ensure that if people opt to continue drinking it's their choice to do so.

You cannot convince an addict they need to stop from a prohibitionist perspective, but you can help them manage it better and ensure that they have their life together outside it. Give them an alternative to drinking and despair and you'd be surprised how many takers you'd get.

So, I suppose at least part of the task is to provide that alternative. It can't just be jobs; at least, not traditional ones.
 

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